Helsinki (16.11.2017 - Heikki Jokinen) The Union Council of Tehy - The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland has elected Millariikka Rytkönen as the new Union President. The term of a President is for four years.
Rytkönen is known as an active participant in discussions in the social media. As new President she promises to bring more visibility to Tehy in the public debate.
"One should not to stay on the edge of the pool moisturising toes, one must dive straight into the social debate", she told the Tehy magazine.
The new President was born in 1975 and is a midwife by profession. She is currently President of the Federation of Finnish Midwives, one of the professional organisations Tehy works closely together with.
She represents the Tehy Social Democratic group Yhdessä eteenpäin (Forward together) which gained several new seats on the Union Council in the recent Union elections. Rytkönen lives in the city of Porvoo where she is a Social Democratic member of the city Council, too.
Rytkönen wants to modernise and revamp the brand of the trade union movement. "Our informative label is too complicated", she says to Yle news.
It is time to speak about core trade union issues like better pay and working conditions in language that is clear, Rytkönen believes. "The trade union movement must be a haven, not a swear word."
Paula Sihto from Seinäjoki was elected Chairperson of the Union Council. She is a former MP from the centre-right Centre Party.
In the ongoing round of collective bargaining Tehy is focusing on pay rises. Tehy is demanding that the 30 per cent holiday bonus cut agreed in 2016 in the public sector for three years must also be compensated.
The Union represents qualified healthcare professionals, social workers and students of these professions in both the private and public sectors and has 160,000 members.
And a new goal this time is to sign its own collective agreement, not be a part of the bigger municipal collective agreement.
To achieve this goal Tehy is working in tandem with the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses SuPer. The latter has 90,000 members. Both unions belong to STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals.